Across NSW and ACT, AFL players are pulling up their yellow socks and donning their club jerseys in support of the inaugural RUOK? AFL Round. The round, established to inspire and empower the AFL community to meaningfully connect with people around them, is the first simultaneous initiate run across all 14 managed leagues in one weekend.
AFL NSW / ACT CEO Sam Graham said the leagues are excited to show a united front in relation to the conversation around positive peer support.
“Our leagues and clubs provide great environments and supportive frameworks, where mateship and loyalty are at the core of our game.”
“The RUOK? Round will open even more avenues for awareness for mental health, and challenge everyone within our game to make sure that they ask that important questions – are you ok?”
GWS Giants AFLW Vice-Captain and proud RUOK? Supporter Alicia Eva is looking forward to seeing the RUOK? Round in Action.
“It’s a great reminder to check in on your mates, your loved ones and even yourself, not just during the RUOK? Round but in your day-to-day life.” Eva said.
“This round encourages connectedness and involvement in suicide prevention and awareness. Many people are touched by suicide and the AFL NSW / ACT RUOK? Round is a great opportunity to kick off conversations around mental health.”
Eva commends the numerous high-profile players that have spoken out about mental health challenges recently, encouraging others to do the same.
“These challenges don’t discriminate, and it shows amazing courage when people speak out about the issues they’re facing. As a society, we are progressing in our understanding of mental illness and we are encouraging people to speak up when they are not okay.”
“We are starting to see that when you come out asking for help, you’ll be supported. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, but of great strength.”